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Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

ON  THE  CHANGE OF REFRANGIBILITY  OF LIGHT.         375
when a solution of guaiacum is examined in the solar spectrum, it is found that that is the region in which the blue dispersed light is produced. The blue light dispersed by a solution of guaiacum may also be seen by using the blue flame of sulphur burning feebly. The poverty of the flame of a spirit-lamp, not only with respect to visible rays, but also with respect to invisible rays, except those of very high refrangibility, accounts for the circumstance that it does not exhibit, or at least hardly at all exhibits, the blue light dispersed by fluor-spar.
Mode of determining, by means of the light of a spirit-lamp, the transparency of bodies with respect to the invisible rays of high refrangibility.
201.    If the body be a solid, and be bounded by parallel surfaces, its  transparency with  regard to  these rays is easily tested.    For this purpose it is sufficient to hold the flame of a spirit-lamp a little way above the surface of a weak solution of sulphate of (juinine contained in an open vessel in a dark room, and then, placing the eye so as to see the dispersed light in projection, alternately to interpose and remove the plate to be examined.
202.    On examining in this way various specimens of glass, I found none which did not show evident defects of transparency. The purest specimens of plate-glass appeared, I think, to be the least defective.    I cannot say whether the observed defects of transparency wore due to the essential ingredients of the glass, or to accidental impurities.    It is possible that glass made with chemically pure materials might be transparent*.    I believe that a mere   trace  of peroxide of iron, or of sulphuret of soda  or potassa, would be sufficient to impair materially the transparency of glass with respect to these rays, and such impurities are very likely to bo present.    Quartz, however, appeared to be perfectly transparent, the active rays passing through the thickness of one
* Some HpccimciiH of glass belonging to Dr Faraday's experiments, which from the absence of colour and of internal dispersion seemed hopeful, could not be examined for transparency, on account of their irregular figure; and as they were only lent to me by a friend, I did not feel myself at liberty to get them cut and polished.